There are all sorts of diets on the internet. You might have also come across pureed diets. For those who undergo surgeries, doctors put them on a pureed diet for a few days. It lies somewhere in between liquid diets and mechanical soft diet. Pureed diets are mandatory in cases, where:
- You have dysphagia; you will have difficulty chewing or swallowing your food. People with dysphagia feel discomfort in the form of choking while taking even a single bite. People with Parkinson’s disease are likely to have dysphagia.
- You have undergone surgery; the initial weakness followed post-surgery will make it difficult for you to have food properly, so your doctor will recommend keeping you on a thick liquid diet to recover through initial stages.
What is a Pureed Diet?
Pureed foods are well cooked or well-steamed foods converted into a thick liquid paste for easier swallowing. These diets take an alteration in their consistency and texture when blended like a pudding or baby food. The diet does not necessarily need to be bland.
Foods to Choose
There should be no lumps in the food, and it should feel like a thick paste. These foods are –
All liquids & beverages, pureed ripe banana, yoghurt without fruits or nuts, pureed cooked or blended soft fruits, pureed meats, pudding, custard, butter, margarine, pureed cooked vegetables, cottage cheese, cream of rice, cream of wheat or any other cooked cereals, smooth oatmeal, bread with no crust pureed in milk or water, ice cream or pureed legumes.
Foods to Avoid
Pureed diets do not sit well with those foods which are hard to blend or smooth out in any way. These foods are:
- Vegetables and fruits with skin or seeds that are hard to puree such as raspberries or blackberries, pineapples
- Dried fruits such as coconut or raisins
- Nuts and seeds such as walnut, almonds, peanuts
- Chips, corns or popcorn
Way to eat pureed foods
The right way to follow a pureed diet is to have at least six small pureed meals a day instead of having three big meals. You can also have three small pureed meals along with three small pureed snacks. To make sure you are consuming enough amounts of calories, you need to follow the rule of six meals each day. You are free to experiment with the foods mentioned. Prefer homemade pureed meals to market pureed foods since homemade is better in taste and health. If you are someone recovering from surgery, it is likely that you may lose weight if on an improper diet. The right steps to making a pureed diet are:
- Cut or chop the foods into small pieces
- Put them in a blender
- Add some liquid like milk, water, soup or broth into the blender/food processor depending on the type of food
- Blend them properly to get a smooth and thick paste
- Add seasonings to food for taste
Thickening the pureed diet is not as same as thinning. Therefore, there are thickening agents available on the market shelves to make your pureed diet thicker. The options include potato flakes, baby cereals, or gelatin. Potato flakes and baby cereals when mixed in hot liquids make a perfect combination.
Tips for nutrition
- Include as many varieties of foods as possible to get the nutrition of all sorts.
- Instead of eating large meals, eat small but frequent meals
- You can include protein shakes in the diets as well to recover faster
- Add seasonings, spices, smooth sauces, or butter to improve the flavor of your diet.
- Use the right equipment. A food processor works the best. If you do not have, use the right kind of blender or hand mixer.
- Clean your equipment thoroughly to prevent foodborne illness.
- If you have prepared it for someone who is on a pureed diet, make sure you taste it before giving it to the patient. Just see to it that it is not too bland.
Pureed diets may sound boring but you can always keep it interesting by mixing and experimenting as per your taste and flavor since there is a lesser restriction on foods used in diet preparation.